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The prospects for developing strong oxidation-resistant alloys for use at temperatures above approximately 1800 F are not very good. It is highly desirable, therefore, to investigate the potential usefulness of the refractory ceramic compounds for use as structural components. The main drawback with this class of materials is, of course, the tendency to fracture in a brittle manner. Brittleness, however, is not an inherent limitation. As early as 1924, Joffe (1)2 showed that the normally brittle alkali halides could be made to behave in a ductile manner merely by immersing crystals of these salts in warm water while they were being loaded. Joffe explained his results as follows.
Parker, Earl R.
University of California, Berkeley, Calif.